Debut or Die Magazine
‘First, let’s quickly finish what I have to do.’
First of all, I caught Seon Ahyeon who struggled with people’s questions and requests around the billboard.
“Give me your phone.”
“I’m going to take a proof shot.”
Seon Ahyeon finally came to his senses and sneaked to the front of the billboard. I turned on the camera of the smartphone that was handed to me.
People reacted immediately.
“Let’s get out of the way∼”
“Let’s take a picture of them!”
Surprisingly, the enthusiastic crowd voluntarily began to distance themselves and retreat.
…I’d seen so many people who risked their lives to get a picture, so I was a little worried.
“Stretch your shoulders.”
“Ahyeon, you’re so handsome!”
The last one was not said by me, but by a person who seemed to be a fan of Seon Ahyeon.
Seon Ahyeon’s face became red as if it was broken.
Muttering like that a few times, Seon Ahyeon straightened his body.
Anyway, I mechanically took a picture with the right composition, and as soon as I lowered my smartphone, Keun Sejin shouted next to me.
“Moondae! Me too!”
I turned around as I held Seon Ahyun’s smartphone and took a photo of Keun Sejin.
It was cumbersome to take his pictures because Keun Sejin changed poses several times.
But people were eagerly filming the scene again with their smartphones.
“Please do another pose∼”
‘… If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be fine if I didn’t take a proof shot?’
I just had to go online and download anything that popped up on the internet.
“You too, Moondae!”
It would be weird if I was the only one not taking pictures, so I moved to the front of my billboard.
When I saw the billboard in front of my nose, which was completely exposed after everyone retreated, I felt a sense of intimidation due to its size.
The photo used for Park Moondae’s billboard was taken during the production presentation.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a photo of me poking my cheek or making a finger heart, but I was a bit embarrassed by the incredibly large size of the face.
‘…Let’s not make eye contact.’
As I turned my head, I saw the text written in the background.
[A blue chip that appears like a comet!]
(TL note: blue chip = stock in a stock corporation with a national reputation for quality, reliability, and the ability to operate profitably in good and bad times. Sumber: Wiki.)
At the bottom, ‘Please buy a lot.♡’ was written in small letters.
That phrase is very impactful… I can’t deny that.
‘You must have had a hard time.’
I silently took a proof shot.
I had to show this much sincerity, at least.
And as soon as I took a picture and stepped away from the billboard, people started pouring in again.
“Are you here to see the advertisement?”
“W-what should I do….”
“Did you take a good picture?”
Slowly, the number of people was increasing enough to interfere with the traffic. It was definitely worse than when I got off at the bus stop alone. It was a disadvantage that the three of us came here together.
If I do this wrong, wouldn’t I get called a nuisance?
I wanted to do something and left, but it seemed difficult.
‘I must use the strength of the three of us.’
I winked at the other two.
Fortunately, it looked like they understood the signal.
We bowed our heads.
“I’ll do my best!”
And immediately ran to the nearest exit.
As three tall men ran at once, the road naturally opened.
“We’re going to go now∼ Thank you!”
Keun Sejin turned around, then waved and shouted. I could hear several voices answering as I followed them closely.
Fortunately, no one felt that it was rude, and their voices were bright.
It was my first time running while listening to so many cheers.
It felt very… Mysterious.
I immediately caught a taxi from the exit that popped out.
“Ah! That was really good!”
As soon as the taxi departed, Keun Sejin said this with a grin.
Sun Ahyeon also nodded wildly, looking rather excited.
‘Was it that good?’
Of course, I felt a sense of debt because I couldn’t thank them. However, being recognized by many people didn’t particularly heighten my mood.
Is it a matter of temperament? Or…
‘…It could be a matter of age.’
They were all 21 years old.
As I was feeling bitter all alone, Keun Sejin suddenly took out his smartphone with an exclamation ‘Ah!’.
And immediately there was a vibration in my phone.
It was my picture taken in front of Park Moondae’s billboard.
Maybe the exposure value was so wrong that all the colors flew away, and my face, which looked ruined from all the shaking, was floating on a blank billboard.
He was terrible at taking pictures.
“Hey, doesn’t it look more realistic with the shaking?”
This was so full of realism that it was impossible to recognize anything other than the sense of realism.
When I looked at him without a word, Keun Sejin laughed and spoke to Seon Ahyeon, pretending not to know.
“Haha… Right, Ahyeon! You have my proof shot on your phone, too, right?”
“Y-yes! W-wait a minute”
Seon Ahyeon turned on his smartphone and posted a picture in the group chat.
These were the pictures of Keun Sejin and Seon Ahyeon that I took.
‘Why are you sending your picture?’
Maybe he was confused and ended up uploading it all at once.
“Oh∼ the pictures taken by Moondae…”
Keun Sejin, who was looking at the screen pretending to be pleasant, paused as if speechless for a moment.
And with a slightly flustered look, this time he began to give a genuine exclamation.
“Uh, oh… You are really good at taking pictures.”
I made a living out of it for years, so it was natural.
I glanced at the screen.
The horizontal composition was perfect, the proportions of the human body didn’t seem awkward, and there were four or five photos of each person that captured their expressions and poses well.
It seemed that my skills weren’t rusty.
As I felt a little proud, Keun Sejin added in an awkward tone.
“…Well, I’ll take a good picture of you next time. I’m sorry.”
He seemed sincere.
A Keun Sejin without his usual flavor of business, I witnessed a lot of things today. I just shrugged.
“Well… A photo with a sense of realism is fine.”
Keun Sejin made a surprised face for a moment, then quickly smiled and changed the subject.
“Right? Oh, come to think of it, are we just going to pass by the restaurant that Ahyeon recommended like this? That’s too bad.”
“I-it’s okay. N-next time we come together…”
Right, we had talked about it.
It was impossible to go to the restaurants that Seon Ahyeon recommended now.
Since he only selected popular places on SNS, if I went with these people, we would be broadcasting our meal live on other people’s SNS.
In addition, it seemed that Seon Ahyeon wasn’t very talented in browsing, the cost-effectiveness in these places wasn’t very good because they just smelled like viral marketing.
After thinking for a while, I checked the navigation system while passing through the Ewha Womans University station.
“Sir, can you turn us to Yeonhui-dong?”
I looked back at the two in the back seat.
“I know a quiet place, do you want to go there?”
“Oh∼ Of course, I agree!”
Right. I asked the driver for permission and changed the navigation to the restaurant’s location.
And only after the meal was over I realized that I had volunteered to do something I didn’t have to do.
Oh, my God. We’re getting closer!
* * *
The woman who was looking at the smartphone repeatedly agonized in a painful voice.
On the screen, an option that plunged her into a swamp of anguish appeared.
[Idol Inc. stock package discount! ∼80%]
Under the large banner, there were stocks tied to all kinds of services sold by the group company of Tnet, the channel where <Idol Inc.> aired.
For example, if you buy Tnet’s music site package here, you will also receive a three-month streaming coupon with a 50% discount and the right to buy 20 stocks of <Idol Inc.>.
In short, she could give Moondae 20 more votes.
These broadcasters sold the stocks in a package like this, except for a monthly fixed-rate ticket that could give her one more vote every day!
The scary thing was, this package had a high discount rate, so it had a dual purpose in which existing service users bought this package to get a discount and then ended up falling into <Idol Inc.>.
‘It’s really terrible…’
The woman sighed as she scrolled through the pages, and saw the message that had just come up in a pop-up.
It was a message from the friend who fed Park Moondae to her mouth by requesting her to apply for the audience.
[Yeonju: crazycrazy ㅠㅠ Someone caught sight of Moondae! (Link)]
‘Oh my gosh.’
The link that she clicked hastily led to an SNS post.
[Oh, I just went out to eat with my family and saw an Idol Inc. participant. They seem to be those kids who sang MallangDalkom? (Photo)]
In the attached photo, Park Moondae, Seon Ahyun, and Keun Sejin were seen receiving a ttukbaegi with samgyetang at a table with sagging partitions.
(TL note: ttukbaegi = a small, black-to-brown earthenware vessel used for various boiled dishes in Korean cuisine. Samgyetang = ginseng chicken soup.)
There was a long response below the picture.
– Look at his eyes on the samgyetang, they are about to pop out ㅋㅋㅋ
– As expected, K-samgyetang, is better than basic chicken, you know it
└Please stop the discrimination against chickenㅠ
– I am in favor of these three staying close
– Ah, they must have gone to eat there after seeing the billboardㅠㅠ I love these cute guysㅠㅠ
The woman searched for ‘Park Moondae billboard’ just in case.
Immediately, an article a few hours ago that had been shared by thousands of people appeared at the top.
Moondae went to take a proof shot at his billboard ㅠㅠ There were so many people so he couldn’t stay for a long time, but he was so cute and kind that my heart smashed into pieces. His face looked handsome even if he wore a mask (short video)
When she played the attached video, Park Moondae, wearing jeans, a black hood, and a black baseball cap, stood in front of his billboard.
[I’ll buy you a lot of stocks, Moondae!]
[Um, thank you…]
Park Moondae responded a little shyly to people’s pouring words.
And the video ended with him and the two other participants happily sprinting and disappearing.
– So cute
– He’s more sociable than I thought?
– ㅠㅠAs expected, Moon Puppy is not just a delusional claim, it’s officialㅠㅠ What, Tibetan fox? It’s heresy!
– The PD who edited it, please die, our kid was just being calm
– Even if he wore a blonde hat it would match
‘Cute…! So cute!!’
As she stomped on her feet, she suddenly realized that Park Moondae’s billboard photo was familiar. It was the picture her friend showed to her after she had taken it!
She wrote a message quickly.
[Minso: Wow, isn’t this yours? Congrats, Moondae saw it! (link)]
[Yeonju: I lost my mind when I saw that, but now I have come to my senses… I didn’t do it, it was done by the fan association, but I’m still so excited… I’m overwhelmed…]
When she asked, ‘Why didn’t you tell me this first?’, the answer was ‘I couldn’t type because my heart was shaking so much’.
The woman giggled and sent a congratulatory emoticon. And she thought.
‘I want to do something for him, too.’
Park Moondae did well, so she wanted to see a lot of great performances.
Eventually, she went back to the previous purchase page and bought a music package.
After happily buying Moondae’s stock, she checked the Samgyetang restaurant, and in the witness article, a fight broke out.
– Please take down the photo. Stalking is a crime
└I just happened to see him. What stalking;; it’s just a sighting
└Are you watching someone else eating and taking a picture without permission? Use your common sense and say something that makes sense
└Yes, I block them ㅅㄱ
(TL note: ㅅㄱ = keep up the good work. After the game is over, it is a term used to say to the opponent, and is also used to slander someone.)
After this conversation, the reactions of the people who were on fire were awkwardly fizzled out. This is because it was difficult to hear news of Park Moondae, so they reflexively got excited about the rare sightings and just now realized that it could be an invasion of privacy.
The woman was also embarrassed and turned off the window. She had forgotten that Moondae hadn’t even made his debut yet.
‘That’s… Because he did so well…!’
As she recalled her previous audience experience, which made her mind dazed just thinking about it again, she suddenly remembered what she had forgotten.
“Ugh! <Idol Inc.> is airing!”
Right. In the first place, she was looking at the stock purchase page while waiting for Idol Inc. to air.
She hurriedly turned on the channel, and luckily was able to see the logo of the show that was just starting out.
She was relieved, and suddenly the MC’s meaningful face appeared on the show.
[Everyone, do you remember <Idol Inc.>’s promise?]
The MC hit the desk seriously as if he were sitting in front of a desk in the discussion room.
[We promise you that we will do everything as you wish. So, even now, numerous votes are being held on our website, such as the vote for the number of final debuts and the song selection.]
For reference, there were people crying, saying ‘The final number of debut members I voted for is too small.’
[And today, we’re going to carry out one more promise. Everyone. Do you have any participants you don’t want to see?]
As soon as the broadcast started, in front of the viewers who were suddenly confused about what this was about, the production team threw a huge mess.
[Then sell that participant’s stock! With the newly introduced <Selling Stocks> shareholders can reduce the stocks of the participants they do not want to see in the future!]
[The ‘right to buy stocks’ that shareholders purchase can also be used as a ‘right to sell stocks’ in the future. In other words! Instead of buying a particular participant’s stock, you can sell it and make it negative!]
It was the arrival of hell.